Q:

How do you access an old savings account?

A:

Quick Answer

Access an old savings account by finding it in a state unclaimed property database and claiming it, reports the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators. According to unclaimed property statutes, all financial institutions must turn in the funds in inactive bank accounts to state offices after one or more years.

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How do you access an old savings account?
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Full Answer

The law requires financial institutions to send unclaimed funds from savings accounts to the unclaimed property office in the state of the last known address of the owner, explains the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators. To find the unclaimed property office of a state, go to Unclaimed.org, and click on the state on the interactive map. Use the state database to search for the account. If you moved and are not sure which state property office holds the account, use the multi-state search engine at MissingMoney.com.

State unclaimed property offices attempt to locate the owners of old savings accounts, but if they are unsuccessful, they hold the funds indefinitely without charge, according to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators. Consumers can conduct searches and file claims through MissingMoney.com or state unclaimed property databases for free, but some states charge a small handling fee when returning the funds. Although some private businesses locate lost savings accounts and other missing money for a fee, the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators cautions that some unclaimed property services are scams and charge high fees for a search that consumers can easily perform on their own.

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